Give Sea Turtles a Safe Path on St. Lucie County Beaches March 1 – Nov. 15
St. Lucie County asks residents, businesses and visitors to help protect sea turtles by committing to sea turtle-friendly practices such as proper beachfront lighting. Improper beachfront lighting can imperil our endangered and threatened sea turtle populations. If one observes sea turtle nest poaching or harassment of sea turtles on the beach.
Call 911 or the Florida Fish and Wildlife hotline at 1-888-404-FWCC.
Improper beachfront lighting endangers nesting sea turtles and hatchlings. St. Lucie County enforces sea turtle lighting codes during sea turtle nesting season. Season runs from March 1 – Nov.15. During nesting season, exterior light sources directly visible from the beach or illuminating areas seaward of the primary dune must be turned off between sunset and sunrise during nesting season.
To prevent interior lights from illuminating the beach:
- window treatments are required on all windows of single and multi-story structures if these windows are within the line of sight of the beach.
- Blackout draperies or shade screens are preferred.
- Alternatively, approved window tint may be applied to beachfront windows.
- It is encouraged that people turn out all unnecessary interior lights during nesting season and close curtains and blinds at night.
- Flashlights and bon fires are discouraged during nesting season.
Additionally, beach furniture should not be left on the beach. Walton Rocks Beach is the only dog-approved beach in St Lucie County. Dogs should be on leashes so as to not dig up sea turtle nests. If dogs (or children) dig holes in the beach sand, please be sure to fill the holes in, making it easier for baby sea turtles to find their way to the water.
For additional information on sea turtle-friendly beaches, please contact Natural Resources Extension Agent Ken Gioeli at 772-462-1660. For Code Compliance questions, please contact Building and Code Compliance Manager Monica Graziani at 772-462-1553.
A 12” x 19” poster “Give Sea Turtles A Safe Path” is available for $4+ shipping from the University of Florida athttp://ifasbooks.ifas.ufl.edu/p-1378-sea-turtle-nesting-poster.aspx